Singer Kailash Kher, who turned to music after failure in the export business, says he has mellowed down and started believing in life after marriage and fatherhood. Little surprise then that his new album will be inspired by his nine-month-old son Kabir.
"We are working on our fourth album and very soon we will finalise a few tracks for it," Kailash, dressed in check trousers and a yellow T-shirt, told IANS in an interview. The 37-year-old is known for his pulsating, earthy and rustic music.
"The soul of the album will be the same, but this time the additional thing is my son Kabir. He is my inspiration for this album," said Kailash, who had tied the knot with Sheetal Bhan in February last year.
"The emotional transformation that I experienced when I became a father will be the basis of my compositions this time around," said Kailash, a Kashmiri who migrated to Mumbai.
"I have started believing in life after my marriage and my son. Earlier, I used to be very short tempered, had a lot of anger inside me, I used to be very aggressive. But after marriage, a sense of calmness has engulfed me," he said.
When you enter Kher's studio in Andheri (West), you can feel music in the air. Sipping hot ginger tea and sitting among modern music machines as well as traditional instruments like the tabla, mandolin, raavanhatha, iktaara and the kartaal, he talks enthusiastically about his new album.
Kailash's rustic voice made him stand out and he carved a niche for himself with chartbusters like Allah ke bandey, Ya Rabba, Chak de phatte and Kaise batayein. He has also released a Commonwealth Games song.
He has worked with almost all the top composers of the industry including A.R. Rahman, Vishal-Shekhar, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Salim-Sulaiman and the best part is that he never took any professional training in music.
Failure in the export business opened the musical avenues for me, says the singer.
"I was doing exports business till 1999. At the start of 1999 my business collapsed and I went into depression. For about six months I stayed in Thailand, then in Singapore trying to do something. But in 2000 I came back home.
"Then my brother Mahesh and my sister Nutan suggested that I release an album because they felt that I have the potential," said Kailash.
"I had a mind block that singing is only done in films and doing private albums is not a career. But soon I got rid of that mindset. I came to Bombay in 2001 and for one year I did nothing. I was so enamoured by this city that I used to just go around and explore places.
"Then in 2002, I started working on an album with Naresh and Paresh. Then I started getting jingles, which helped me financially. I didn't have to do any special effort for that, it just fell into my lap. So to be honest, I didn't struggle here so much. I had struggled more before coming here," he added.
Kailash, who has given hit albums such as Teri Deewani, Saiyyan and Chaandan mein, also gives credit to Bollywood for popularising his songs.
"Bollywood played a big role in my popularity. My career is only seven years old and today I'm standing at par with people who have been here for decades. It feels really good. Seven years back I was nobody, but today when I walk on the road people recognise me," said a visibly amused Kailash.
The singer has sung for many films, including Khosla Ka Ghosla, Allah Ke Bandey, Michael, With Love to Obama, Kandahar, Zokkomon and Paan Singh Tomar.
"Whatever songs I've sung are not light or easy songs. Most of them are hard-hitting tracks. Some of them are satirical. There is aggression in most of them," he said.
After playback singing, jingles, shows and judging, does he find enough time to spend with his family?
"Whatever time I have, I utilise each and every moment of that for being with my son. When I play with Kabir, I also become Kabir and have nothing else in my mind."
(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at